I am Generation Equality: Yolanda Ginya, South African entrepreneur

Billions of people across the world stand on the right side of history every day. They speak up, take a stand, mobilize, and take big and small actions to advance women’s rights. This is Generation Equality.


Yolanda Ginya
Yolanda Ginya (Photo: UN Women/James Ochweri

Three actions you can take to promote youth empowerment:

  • Give the youth opportunities through skill sharing and alternative employment
  • Have facilities in the community e.g recreational areas to keep young people busy
  • Listen to the young people to know what they need and act on what they’re suggesting

I am Generation Equality because…

Gender equality is a very important conversation we must have in our communities. Women should have the same roles in the community. We must speak about the abuse and hardships that women go through so that we can put an end to them.

Why is the work you’re doing important

Some challenges young women are facing in my community are unemployment and gender-based violence (GBV). These push young women into drugs and other vices because they have a lack of opportunity. The beadwork trainings I am giving to young women in my community are important because it lifts their self-confidence and their self-esteem while also empowering them financially. They can create beautiful items out of discarded, recycled items and seeing that they are good at it gives them that boost.

How can men be a part of the solution in promoting gender equality?

Men need to be vocal about gender equality. It’ll be easier for men to be able to listen when fellow men are speaking.

Why should everyone be a women’s rights activist?

Women need to be appreciated because they are more like superheroes. There is a lot of things that women are doing. You will find the men after work sitting around watching news and the women are doing all the household chores. We are pushing ourselves so much at the workplace and at home. We all need to support women.

Yolanda Ginya is a creative director at SYLG Creations which produces hand crafted beadwork in Amathole District, Eastern Cape, South Africa. Her company is part of the women-owned enterprises benefiting from training, conferences, networking opportunities, and mentoring programs supported by UN Women South Africa Multi-country office that assist the enterprises in accessing opportunities within the district. Yolanda gives back to her community by training other young women on beadwork to empower them economically.